Bribery, Resilience, and Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans
I am proud of my kid. Not because of the struggle with getting his eye drops in (we are fighting against the dreaded 'pink eye'), not because he forgot to hold his penis when he peed on the tree and ended up urinating all over himself mid hike, and not because he needed some chocolate bribery (which I will get to later in this post)... but because all of these things turned into a hike that did in fact make me proud. My little turkey hiked for over an hour and a half soaked in pee without whining. In fact... the only time he sort of cried was when he fell on the hike back and got dirt on his hands (for whatever reason my dirty kid hates dirty hands). This is an example of a perfectly imperfect hike and an example of how kids are wonderfully resilient.
Pre-hike we made our usual trip to the bulk barn for our trail mix creation. I was apparently inspiried by the dark side and ended up with a dark-chocolate-coated-everything trailmix.... quinoa puffs, raisins, almonds, and coffee beans. By the way, I am now in love with dark chocolate coated coffee beans to go along with my coffee. Its a mid-afternoon pick me up made from heaven. I digress.... Co brought along his own hike snacks which he carried himself in his jacket hood (alphabet pretzels and raisins). He finished most of the snack 2 minutes into the trail. After the pee incident I thought we were done for. This kid absolutely hates wet pants (even more than dirty hands). Lets backtrack in this story for a second.... I organize a weekly wednesday hike with a bunch of other amazing mamas (and sometimes papas and grans). Normally, Co is in school wednesday so I just hike with Milo which makes trip organizing and travel slightly easier. Not this Wednesday. This Wednesday Co woke up with an eye threatening to make everyone's life miserable for a few days but also with the lightest shade of pink there was potential promise for early intervention. Sick eye or not this kid was not spending the day in front of the tv, so after the typical toddler eye drop battle (I won) I braced myself for a longer than planned week (I enjoy the days where I get a break and only have one child to mother). Gear was packed, snacks chosen, coffee hot, kids in the car... away we went.
My chocolatly trail mix became a toddler lifesaver one chocolate-covered-quinoa morsel at a time. It turned his wet-pants funk around... it may have taken more chocolate than I hoped but that was not something I was going to dwell on. With the hope that none of the bribes were the coffee beans we continued our hike without issue and eventually he forgot about the chocolate all together (I didn't.... obviously).
The morale of this story is that it can be the hikes that go awry, the ones with incident and accident that are the best displays of our kids abilities. They can make us the proudest, create funny memories.... and always make for the best pictures.